December 20, 2008

Skype chat commands

It's not a widespread knowledge that Skype has not only hidden emoticons (see also Skypes own emoticon list)but also allows some special commands within an open Skype chat. Thanks to my darling for the hint. There are some lists available on the net but they aren't easy to locate and I found none which has a listing of all commands. Well, I don't know if I for myself have found all available commands, but none of the list contained all of those I know.

So here I'm compiling my own list of Skype commands with descriptions and if you're interested some of the lists I used for this are at the bottom of this entry. Most of the commands are for administering the running chat, some are only available when you are the chat creator and some more only if you issued "/goadmin" before. Also at some spots in the net it was said, that some commands are only applicable when the "IRC Style" view of chats is activated but I couldn't confirm that.

Furthermore a lot of the commands show only effect or make any sense at all (especially the user management related ones) if used in a public chat.

If you have knowledge of more of those commands or about the ones with a question mark please leave me a note in the comments.

Update 2009-04-25 - Filled most gaps, added descriptions and links to official Skype pages.
Update 2010-08-21 - Minor updates to the options concerning joining a chat.
Update 2010-10-30 - Discovered a load of additional mysterious chat commands. Left them in a separate post until more info available.
Update 2012-11-17 - Minor updates for Skype 6


/me [action]Describes an action of the user by printing his name followed by the action.
/helpShows a list of available commands. It's incomplete but helps with general administrating tasks.
/add [skypename]Adds the user skypename to the chat.
/leaveLeave the current chat (only if not creator).
/topic [newTopic]Sets a new topic to the chat.
/find [text]Looks for text in the chat history.
/fa or /Repeats the last search.
/alertson or /alertson [text]"/alertson text" sets the skype notification to occour on special text in messages. "/alertson" resets it to the default. If an alert is set, every instance of the text will be highlighted in the chat window for easier detection of the alerting lines.
/alertsoffTurns off all notifications for this chat.
/historyLoads the complete chat history into the active chat window.
/htmlhistoryGenerates a HTML file of the chats history and opens it in the browser. Skype 4: not iplemented in this version anymore.
/clearClears the chat window.
/infoShows number and limit of chat participants.
/call [skypename]Opens a call to skypename.
/goadminEnters the administration mode of the chat (only if creator) and adds a small text "Creator" to the user-icon in the chat. I didn't find so far a way to leave this mode again. According to the Skype documentation the only effect is the "Creator" tag but I'm not so sure about that.
/get creatorShows the creator of this chat.
/get roleShows the current role of the user.
/whois [skypename]Shows some info of the user skypename, for example the current role.
/setrole [skypename] MASTER | HELPER | USER | LISTENERSets roles of chat members. See below for more info.
/kick [skypename]Removes skypename from the chat.
/kickban [skypename]Removes skypename from the chat and bans him.
/get guidelinesShows the guidelines of this public chat.
/set guidelines [text]Sets the guidelines of this public chat.
/get optionsShows the current active options for this chat.
/set options [[+|-]flag]Sets options for this chat, see below for more info.
/get [creator|masters|helpers|users|listeners]Shows a list of users in the particular role.
/setpassword [password] [hint]Sets a password for this public chat, no spaces allowed, and also a password hint in the same command.
/clearpasswordRemoves the password for this public chat.
/set pasword_hint [text]Sets a password hint for this public chat.
/get password_hintShows the password hint for this public chat.
/set password [text]Sets a password for this public chat, no spaces allowed.
/set banlist [[+|-]mask]Bans members from this public chat.
/get banlistShows all users which are banned to this public chat.
/set allowlist[[+|-]mask]Allows members to this public chat.
/get allowlistShows all users which are allowed to this public chat.
/get uriSkype 4: Gets the URI link for this public chat which can then be sent to contacts or embedded in webpages.
/eggy? Has been rumoured as easter-egg but seems to have no effect at all (at least not in recent versions of Skype).
/undoeditSkype 6: Reverts the last edit of a message.

Chat roles and privileges

Straight from the Skype API Documentation.

CREATORMember who created the chat. There can be only one creator per chat. Only creator can promote other members to masters.
MASTERAlso known as chat hosts. Masters cannot promote other people to masters.
HELPERA semi-privileged member. Helpers will not be affected by the USERS_ARE_LISTENERS option. Helpers cannot promote or demote other members.
USERRegular members who can post messages into the chat.
LISTENERA demoted member who can only receive messages but not post anything into the chat.
APPLICANTA member waiting for acceptance into the chat. Member cannot be demoted to applicants once they have been accepted.

Chat options

These options are also from the Skype API, I had no chance to test these so far.

JOINING_ENABLEDWhen this bit is off, new users cannot join the chat. This option has to be enabled before the options JOINERS_BECOME_APPLICANTS and JOINERS_BECOME_LISTENERS can be set. Also, this cannot be disabled while one of the JOINERS_BECOME_xxx options is still set.
JOINERS_BECOME_APPLICANTSWhen this bit is on, new users will be able to join the chat but they will be unable to post or receive messages until authorized by one of the chat administrators (CREATOR or MASTER).
JOINERS_BECOME_LISTENERSWhen this bit is on, new users will be able to receive message in chat but unable to post until promoted to USER role. Basically a read-only flag for new users.
HISTORY_DISCLOSEDWhen this bit is off, newly joined members can see chat history prior to their joining. Maximum amount of history backlog available is either 400 messages or 2 weeks of time, depending on which limit is reached first.
USERS_ARE_LISTENERSRead-only flag for chat members with USER role.
TOPIC_AND_PIC_LOCKED_FOR_USERSWhen this bit of options is off, USER level chat members can change chat topic and the topic picture.
USERS_ARE_WRITERS? This appeared to me after setting and removing the USERS_ARE_LISTENERS in a chat, but I didn't recognize some changed behavior to the standard.

Other Skype trivia

  • If you press different key combinations of 3 letters at once on your keyboard (fast!) you can make some other hidden status-icons appear next to your Skype-image (and in recent versions also in the chat-window itself) in a chat. For example "jkl" or "uio" produce an animated icon where a pencil is broken, "cat" or "dog" make a nice cat appear. Just try around, until now I've just found those two icons.

External Links & Sources How To Make Links To Skype Chats On Web Pages And Email

December 16, 2008

RSA SecurID Token number symmetry

At our company we're using RSAs SecurID hardware tokens to connect our computers to the central company network infrastructure.

As my computer, for unknown reason, drops out of the VPN connection regularly I have to log on using this token quite often. And the more I have to look at the generated numbers, the more I get the impression that the tokens often generate "symmetric-looking" numbers. Just at the moment I'm looking at 568561. The next such ones (in a timeframe of about 8-10 minutes) are: 804508, 259825, 438858, 832738.

To me these numbers look not as random as they should, but of course I could be wrong and everything is really just coincidence. Is it really just randomness which causes so many codes with such a symmetric display and so many repeating numbers?

One could now begin to calculate the chances of two digits appearing twice in a collection of 6 digits. How high would the probability be?

I don't really know because I don't have enough time to investigate, but it leaves a curious feeling...

December 15, 2008

Bye bye, Rodney...

Rodney leaves Stargate :(

As sad as this is for all Stargate-Fans, including myself, I wish you good luck and that your plans work out.

Did anyone notice, that the article at IO9 was written by a "Meredith"? ;)

December 11, 2008

In case you're still using Filterset.G for your AdblockPlus...

... dump it.

On one of my computers where I recently updated the Adblock Plus advertisement blocking plugin for Firefox, it gave me a note that the Filterset.G causes trouble for the recent versions (slowing down, etc.) and that it hasn't been updated for ages.

For replacement filters look for the "Add Filter Subscription..." item in the Adblock Plus preferences, there are some quite good there.

I personally use some filter subscriptions from, for me they work quite fine.

December 9, 2008

Online payment

Finally, they got me. I've recently opened a PayPal account. I've been forced to this step because my hoster, who has transferred my Freepgs-account to his servers for free until now, has decided to take 3$ per year as payment to keep up this "free" hosting.

Three dollars is not even worth to mention, but nevertheless has to be paid somehow. And the only possibility for me is the Paypal-method as the other ones require either creditcard or giving personal data to companies I've never heard of.

So I finally got over my antipathy for such online-payment-services and signed up for an account. Maybe I can then also shop a bit easier abroad. There are already some sites (here or here) where the unability to purchase without giving creditcard or other personal information prevented me to acquire something.

For now I've tried to transfer 25EUR from my bank account to PayPal. It's stated, that it can take a few days for the transfer to arrive.

I'm curious how this works out...